Xmas Holidays in Japan

Yes, they do celebrate Christmas in Japan. Mostly in a completely secular way. It’s actually very similar to Valentine’s Day in the US. On December 24th, you’re supposed to take your significant other on a romantic date. I went to a bookstore instead.

And was amazed that they have magazines dedicated to everything about being a flight attendant.

Stopped to have lunch at a Mos Burger, which is Japan’s version of McDonald’s…

… with 100% Japanese beef and cheese.

Stopped by a combini (convenience store) to look at the latest Final Fantasy XIII ‘Elixir’ potion they’re selling in the drink section. At 980 Yen (roughly $10), I passed.

And looked at the dessert display. Japanese (especially women) are obsessed with sweets, so it’s no big surprise they have this much variety and quality in a convenience store. Still, I can’t imagine anything this tasty looking in a Circle K in the states. They also had…

Love Bombs? ‘This is a cracker [not the kind you eat, the kind that blows up, fire cracker] from which heart-shaped confetti dashes out’ ‘It is fit loveliness at a wedding and an auspicious party.’

Auspicious indeed.

Headed back to my place in Nakano and saw the most impressive Xmas display in the neighborhood. Which was quite boring. So I decided to take my significant other to Roppongi, which supposedly has a great lights display.

It wasn’t this year. It was about as impressive as this blurry pic you see here. Mostly white lights on trees. But I did find…

Gerbeaud Cafe?! A little history lesson is in order. Gerbeaud cafe is a rich pastry and coffee shop of French origin in the middle of Budapest. Well known for it’s ridiculously high prices and decent burgers (seriously). Don’t believe me, check here. How Japan decided to branch out and open their own Gerbaud cafe in the middle of Roppongi eludes me. It’s eerie actually. It seems I can never escape Hungary 🙂

Since it was Xmas eve and everyplace was already booked and/or ridiculously expensive, we decided to do Xmas dinner at home, Japanese nabe style.

So I bought one of these portable gas stoves (awesome).

Which run on butane cans (also awesome)

Then you pour some of this (Korean kimchi soup base),

Add some of this (veggies),

And some of this (bag o’ meat!)… and it will magically turn into this:

Which is really, really tasty. And as easy to prepare and make as it was to look at those pictures.

That pretty much sums up my Xmas eve. I’ll do Xmas tomorrow and leave you with a picture of a squid leg hanging out of my mouth.

Note: Don’t do this in public in Japan. They’re sensitive about playing with your food. 😉

The Lazy Man’s Way to Tokyo, Day 18